The other day I went to noon Mass, Confession before. Around the responsorial Psalm, a woman arrived late, sat in the pew behind me, and immediately started rummaging through her purse, crackling, unzipping, dumping, rearranging. My God, I thought in my usually humble and contrite way, Shut UP already!
Of course she did not. And as my blood pressure began a precipitous rise, I suddenly realized that her external compulsivity exactly mirrored my inward compulsivity. The real reason I wanted her to shut up was that she was interfering with the loop that had been running through my sleep-starved brain almost since I’d woken that day.
“Should I go to Trader Joe’s after this, or do I have the strength? Maybe I should just stop at Time Market. But I want that soft blue cheese that they have at Trader’s Joe’s. Would the one up on Campbell be closer or should I go to the Grant Ave. one? Maybe I should just have crackers and cheese and take a nap. But no, I’m out of milk and eggs, too, so then I’d have to go tomorrow and I’ll obsess about that and what if I don’t sleep again tonight?”
Lord have mercy indeed. Compared to me, the woman behind me was QUIET.
I love when stuff like that happens. My heart opened to her, another suffering soul. Maybe she was checking the US Open scores on her phone, another thing I personally had been obsessing about for the past week.
And then about three seconds later, she quit rummaging around in her purse.
Hosanna in the highest.